INTRODUCTIONThe vital role ofresearch in modern medicine cannot be overemphasized in view of today’s dynamicswhere global information and technology have profoundly influenced human health. The past and the present The torchbearersof medicine in ancient India were the likes of Sushruta, the first plasticsurgeon in the world and Charaka, the introducer of concepts like digestion andimmunity(1).But, unfortunately, the comparable enthusiasm is lacking in current medicalstudents.
The scientific research which had been an integral part of Indiancivilisation, has now taken a backseat in our medical education system. Currently,research methodology and biostatistics is coveredunder the subject of community medicine and constitutes a tiny part of theBachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.
S.) curriculum. Even that isonly theoretical with no hands on practical training. Thus, the exposure ofundergraduate students to this field is limited. Due to the paltry treatmentmeated out to researh methodology, there is lack of awareness, motivation andinterest amongs students. Although,there was an exponential increase in medical student research from 1980–2010 , withmedical student being the first author in 48.6%, the majority of these articles(59.
1%) have never been cited subsequently (2) . Similarly 41% of the students who received the ICMR-STSresearch scholarship (3) were unable to presentor publish the work done.(4) The futureAs we are movingtowards evidence based medicine, we can’t keep treating our people according tothe studies conducted in the West. India needs to generate its own data andthis is not possible without inculcating scientific temper and promotingreasearch activities at the grassroot level.
Undergraduate medical research isa win-win situation as students get an opportunity to develop high orderthinking skills and hand in hand also to enhance laboratory skills(5) .At the same time, guide faculty get more helping hands, institutes get morepublications and credit and ultimately, the aim of providing better qualitycare to patients is fulfilled.